Hatry, Clarence Charles
HATRY, CLARENCE CHARLES
HATRY, CLARENCE CHARLES (1888–1965), British company promoter. Born in London, the son of a silk merchant, Hatry was educated at St. Paul's. In 1910 he took over his father's silk business and promptly went bankrupt. Notwithstanding this setback, he emerged within a few years as a successful insurance broker. With the temporary boom created by the end of the World War i, Hatry developed into probably the best-known company promoter in Britain, buying, consolidating, and then selling virtually any company he could find, often amalgamating them into poorly conceived trusts and making and losing several fortunes. Just before the 1929 Wall Street crash, when rumors of a large-scale swindle involving Hatry began to circulate in the City of London, he voluntarily confessed to fraud and, in 1930, was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment for defrauding his customers of an estimated £15 million. Released in 1939, Hatry reemerged in the post-1945 period as a reformed businessman, owning London's famous Hatchard's Bookshop and other firms. Just after his release from prison he also managed to write an intelligent book on immigration and minority groups, Light Out of Darkness (1939). He is said to have been depicted in numerous detective stories of the time in which a swindler is murdered, including Ngaio Marsh's Death at the Bar (1939).
odnb; dbb, iii, 110–14.
[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]